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Thread: New water heater:strong sulfur smell

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    Question New water heater:strong sulfur smell

    After installing a new Reliance 606 gas water heater , the hot water smells very strong. 1 person suggested removing or replacing the "anode rod". Is this a simple procedure?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    With a new tank, it should be easy to replace the anode with a different type. It depends on how much vertical room you have what configuration you need. They make replacement ones with a segmented body so you don't need as much room above.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    it should be easy to replace the anode
    Yeah, but every one I've replaced has been a B*tch to get out. If you know someone with a torque-amplifier wrench attachment (BIG bucks), plan on borrowing it. Otherwise, you might get by with a LONG breaker bar (leave the WH filled so it won't dance around), or an impact wrench (last resort, IMHO).

    If you Google "smell anode rod water heater" you'll get over 4,000 hits of advice.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey View Post
    Yeah, but every one I've replaced has been a B*tch to get out. If you know someone with a torque-amplifier wrench attachment (BIG bucks), plan on borrowing it. Otherwise, you might get by with a LONG breaker bar (leave the WH filled so it won't dance around), or an impact wrench (last resort, IMHO).
    An impact wrench would be my first choice!

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    I did mine gently with a long breaker bar, and I would not be at all inclined toward shocking a water heater with impacts from a powered wrench. However, you might find that replacing the anode will *not* stop the odor as well as would getting your heater's internal temperature above 140* F. Along with keeping my "whole house" filters fresh, that is what I ended up having to do.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    I did mine gently with a long breaker bar, and I would not be at all inclined toward shocking a water heater with impacts from a powered wrench.
    You have a very common misconception about Impact Wrenches shocking things. Many years ago I was trying to loosen a nut holding a pully on a shaft. There was an allen socket at the end of the shaft and I wasted a lot of time with an allen wrench in it trying with a wrench to loosen the nut. Cheater bars and the whole bit. I finally went to my brother in law who was an auto mechanic for help. He told me to hold onto the 5" pulley with my bare hands while he put an impact wrench to that nut! I asked him WTF are you crazy and was told shut up and do it! He then spun that nut off in 2 seconds and I didn't feel a thing. Impact wrenches shock the nut not what its in or, on.

    I stand by my post that Impact wrenches are the tool of choice for removing a anode rod!

    Here is a link to some information on sulphur odors in water.http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterOdors.htm

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    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    Good link to smelly-water advice. I'll have to think about the impact-wrench a bit, though. I have this (bad) vision of the glass lining breaking into a jillion pieces and falling into the bottom of the tank...

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Impact wrenches shock the nut not what its in or, on.
    If that were completely true, you would never have had to hold that alternator's pulley and I would never have ever twisted and broken a rusted lug bolt while trying to remove a stuck nut. Impact is impact (with or without continued torque), and the water heater will feel at least a little of the impact from a power wrench even if the nut above the anode rod actually does let loose before glass breaks!
    Last edited by leejosepho; 01-27-2008 at 07:32 PM.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Been doing it for years and never had a problem. Go ahead keep twisting them tanks.

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    TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP MACPLUMB 777's Avatar
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    For Your Information That Is How The Anode Rod Is Installed At The Factory

    With Impact Wrench

    Macplumb 777

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    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MACPLUMB 777 View Post
    For Your Information That Is How The Anode Rod Is Installed At The Factory

    With Impact Wrench

    Macplumb 777
    Okay, but not with the same kind the typical DIYer would use!

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    This is a NEW WH, so hopefully, corrosion shouldn't be a problem. If it is many years down the line, all bets are off. Still, I suppose, it could be a pain getting it loose, but it shouldn't be that bad.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    Okay, but not with the same kind the typical DIYer would use!
    Yea, while I use a cordless electric impact wrench I'm sure that they would use an air powered impact wrench at the factory.

  14. #14
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    And, it would almost certainly be torque-limiting, calibrated and pre-set!

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Yea, I'm sure... Thats why on one my cordless zings it right out and on the next it grunts for 45 seconds before it even starts to move,,, They use the same calibrated torque limiting impact gun the joker down at Bleep Bleep tire store used when he trashed the lugs on my work van! 85 ft. lbs (+- 80)

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